Stone Retaining Wall Repair, Carlisle, MA
At this home in Carlisle, MA the stone retaining wall that runs along the driveway is bowing out and on the verge of collapse. The existing wall was built ~15-20 years ago. And though it was dry-stacked, it wasn’t built with adequate backfill + drainage and has deteriorated over the years. Take a look at this video of the wall coming down. You will see the wall only has one row of stone with soil right behind it.
After we take down the existing stone retaining wall we then gather all the stone. The original wall was built with nice local fieldstone that has grown lichen and moss over the years. Since there was no mortar used it is perfectly re-usable and even more desirable than newer stone.
Next we dig out the base and back of the wall to make room for plenty of crushed stone base and backing. We also install a layer of filter fabric to separate our material from the dirt behind. The means the dirt will never work its way into the wall, and our crushed stone will remain clean with good drainage.
After the prep is done we start building the wall. The stones are stacked without mortar. That means we run the heft off the stone back into the wall for sturdiness, and use a full mix of sizes and shapes to tie it all together. Given this wall is over 4′ in height, we give the wall a ‘batter’ for even more strength. This means the wall leans back towards the hillside instead of going straight up. In the end we stretch a cap line and meet it as closely as possible. We save large flat stones for the top to give it a sturdy, clean looking cap.
The result is a classic New England style stone retaining wall that will hold up for many years to come. All in all the work takes only a few days and results in a big improvement.